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Quidditch Through the Ages

Chapter Nine:
The Development of the Racing Broom

Synopsis, notes, and links by Michele L. Worley

First US edition: pages 47 - 51
Timeframe: 1820 - 1990

In which the history of the development of the racing broom is discussed, including the various manufacturers of famous brooms.

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

Much of the Lexicon's historical information on the development of broomsticks comes from this chapter.

...the invention of the Cushioning Charm by Elliot Smethwyck in 1820 went a long way towards making broomsticks more comfortable than ever before...

This was also discussed in an earlier chapter.

...nineteenth-century broomsticks were generally incapable of achieving high speeds and were often difficult to control at high altitudes.

For some value of "high".

...the Oakshaft is a handsome broom with a very thick oaken handle, designed for endurance flying and to withstand high winds.

Oak is a type of wand wood (PS5).

Too cumbersome to turn at high speed, the Oakshaft...

This may be due partly to the wood from which the broom is made, and/or to the thickness of the handle.

Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.


The Moontrimmer...these slender, ash-handled brooms

Ash is a type of wand wood.

The Moontrimmer's principal advantage over other brooms was its ability to achieve greater heights than ever before (and remain controllable at such altitudes).

The Firebolt's handle is also made of ash.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

Characters returning in this chapter:

  • none

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

  • none

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

  • none

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • none


Links and Resources:

  • brooms

    • Cleansweep One

    • Cleansweep Two

    • Cleansweep Three

    • Comet 140

    • Comet 180

    • Moontrimmer

    • Nimbus 1000

    • Nimbus 1001

    • Nimbus 1500

    • Nimbus 1700

    • Oakshaft 79

    • Shooting Star

    • Silver Arrow

    • Swiftstick

    • Tinderblast

    • Twigger 90

  • broom features

  • broom manufacturers

    • Cleansweep Broom Company

    • Comet Trading Company

    • Ellerby and Spudmore

    • Flyte and Barker

    • Nimbus Racing Broom Company

    • Universal Brooms Ltd.

  • Falmouth Falcons

Memorable lines:

  • none

Strictly British:

  • none

Timeline/Calendar of the Chapter:

  • 1820 Elliot Smethwyck invents the Cushioning Charm.

  • 1879 Elias Grimstone created the first Oakshaft (called the Oakshaft 79).

  • 1901 Gladys Boothby created the first Moontrimmer.

  • 1926 The Ollerton brothers founded the Cleansweep Broom Company, producing the Cleansweep One as their first model.

  • 1927 By the end of this year, every British Quidditch team was mounted on Cleansweeps.

  • 1929 Randolph Keitch and Basil Horton founded the Comet Trading Company. Their first broom, the Comet 140, used the patented Horton-Keitch braking charm.

  • 1934 Release of the Cleansweep Two.

  • 1935 Jocunda Sykes made the first Atlantic broom crossing on an Oakshaft.

  • 1937 Release of the Cleansweep Three.

  • 1938 Release of the Comet 180.

  • 1940 Release of the Tinderblast by Ellerby and Spudmore.

  • 1952 Release of the Swiftstick by Ellerby and Spudmore.

  • 1955 Release of the Shooting Star by Universal Brooms Ltd.

  • 1978 Universal Brooms Ltd. went out of business.

  • 1967 The Nimbus Racing Broom Company was founded, releasing the Nimbus 1000.

  • 1990 The Twigger 90 was first produced by Flyte and Barker.


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